The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov Character List

Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov

The aging patriarch of the Karamazov family. He is surly and emotional, generally disliked by everyone. He is eventually murdered by Smerdyakov.

Dmitri Fyodorovich Karamazov

Fyodor’s oldest son (whose mother is Adelaida). He is impulsive and quick to anger like his father, but he has a faith in God that Fyodor does not share. He is convicted of killing Fyodor.

Ivan Fyodorovich Karamazov

Fyodor’s second son (his first by Sofia). He is intellectual and cynical, and he becomes very ill when his father is murdered because he feels that he is very much to blame.

Alexei (Alyosha) Fyodorovich Karamazov

Fyodor’s youngest son (his second by Sofia). He is deeply religious and caring, and he tries to follow in the footsteps of Father Zossima, the elder at the monastery whom he respects very much.

Pavel Fyodorovich Smerdyakov

Rumored to be Fyodor’s illegitimate son by Lizaveta, he has grown up as a servant to Fyodor. This epileptic boy is enamored of Ivan’s ideas about life, and he murders Fyodor.


Fyodor’s first wife and Dmitri’s mother.


Fyodor’s second wife and Ivan's and Alyosha’s mother.

Father Ferapont

Another monk at the monastery. He serves as a foil to Father Zossima, disagreeing with Zossima’s ideas of love and compassion.

Grigory Vassilyevich

Fyodor’s servant; Smerdyakov’s adopted father.

Agrafena (Grushenka) Alexandrovna

The “she-devil” whom Fyodor and Dmitri both pursue.

Madame Hohlakov

Lise’s mother.


The young girl who gets engaged to Alyosha.


The young boy with whom Alyosha becomes close. His illness is a catalyst that brings the other boys together.

Katerina Ivanovna

The girl who is in love with Dmitri and is determined to marry him.

Nikolay (Kolya) Ivanovich Krassotkin

A young boy who looks up to Alyosha.

“Stinking” Lizaveta Smerdyaschaya

The town idiot who gives birth to Smerdyakov (rumored to be Fyodor’s son).

Marfa Ignatyevna

Grigory’s wife.


Grushenka’s former lover, who returns to see her.

Mihail Ospovitch Rakitin

A young friend of Alyosha whom Grushanka bribes to bring Alyosha to her.

Captain Snegiryov

Ilusha’s father. He was severely beaten by Dmitri, and Alyosha brings him money from Katerina.

Father Zossima

The elder who takes Alyosha under his wing and urges him to leave the monastery.